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Metal Band Can Keep ‘Architects’ Name

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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Misuse of the title “architect” can result in some serious penalties in the UK, but one recent case suggests the profession’s regulatory body takes a more relaxed view when the title is used in other contexts.

The Architects Registration Board ruled that a British metal musical group named “Architects” could continue using its band name.

Band
©iStock.com / Bernd Wittlesbach

The UK’s architecture regulatory body was recently asked to rule on the use of the title “architect” in a band's name.

The Brighton-based band reportedly released their first album in 2006.

What’s in a Name?

The band’s name was reportedly brought to the ARB’s attention by a retired architect, Ray Bryant, who noted that none of the band mates were registered architects, according to bdonline (registration required) and other reports.

“Is it permitted to call yourself an architect if you are clearly working in another profession?” asked Bryant. “Or is the plural not covered by the act?”

That law establishes the ARB and registration guidelines and spells out requirements for use of the title "architect." A violation carries a fine of up to £2,500 ($3,569 USD).

To use the title, architects must be registered with ARB and companies that claim architectural work must have a registered architect supervise that work.

Officials Respond

The board said that while it took the title architect seriously in the context of construction and design related services, it had a more relaxed view of the term in other contexts.

architects
©iStock.com / ALotOfPeople

To use the title, architects must be registered with ARB and companies that claim architectural work must have a registered architect supervise that work.

According to reports, the ARB’s professional standards administrator Sarah Loukes said, “The ARB accepts that the word ‘architect’ is being increasingly used in other contexts. You have indeed evidenced a good example.

“It was never the intention of the Act to regulate the title for its own sake. The ARB, therefore, takes a pragmatic view and accepts that the use of the word causes no concern when used in a context which is clearly not related to the design and construction of buildings.”

For example, the authority has also reportedly had complaints about the makeup company L’Oreal because the company boasted itself as the “architects of eyelashes.”

Record Fine

Last February, a court ordered a construction and renovation firm to pay more than £10,000  ($15,220 USD) for misusing the title “architect” on its website, logos, advertising and correspondence.

The firm, Market Design & Build Ltd., which had no architect on staff, “ignored numerous warnings” from the ARB and continued to “act illegally.” ARB took the issue to court and the company pleaded guilty to five charges in the case.

The board argued that such claims "impinge on architects" who spend more than seven years in training and pay registration fees. Circumventing the process gives architect wannabes "a big financial advantage" over licensed competitors, the board argued.

   

Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Certifications and standards; Design; Enforcement; Regulations; Worker training; Workers

Comment from M. Halliwell, (3/8/2016, 3:21 PM)

It's the same with "engineer" in many places. If memory serves, Microsoft had to quietly change its "Microsoft Certified System Engineer" designation (for those that remember it under the old NT days) to "Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert" in order to avoid this same sort of issue across numerous jurisdictions in Canada and the USA. In Microsoft's case, there definitely wasn't as much separation from what they were doing and something like computer engineering as there is between the metal band "Architects" and the practice of architecture.


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